Cisco wants to challenge Microsoft Office and Google Apps–even though it must know it can’t beat them.
Cisco VP Doug Dennerline told reporters, the company is “thinking about” adding document drafting and sharing to WebEx, which already features instant messaging, online meeting and email services.
The networking company, which bought WebEx in 2007 for $3.2 billion, is pushing the service hard towards businesses of all shapes and sizes. In that context, developing document sharing tools makes sense.
But Cisco (CSCO) can’t be serious about challening Microsoft’s estimated 80-95% market share, nor Google’s built in user-base and dominance in cloud computing.
So what is Cisco on about? Well, Microsoft (MSFT) made $16 billion on Office–last year. Cisco as a whole made $39.5 billion in revenue for 2008. If it can push WebEx to customers who really need it, and bundle in a really slick document sharing and editing package, it may actually be able to unseat a few users from MS Office and look like a value add compared to Google. Even a fraction of the $16 billion MS earns would be a big addition to Cisco’s bottom line.
So this could in fact be the classic case of a smaller third player being happy with a 10% share of the market, except, you know, probably more like 1%, if they’re good and lucky.
Correction: An earlier this post misstated the Microsoft Office revenue figure as $60 billion.
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